Friday, May 28, 2010

Garden Almost In

Well, we have been working on getting the garden planted for the past three days. we are almost done. I still need to plant the potatoes, onions and zucchini squash...oh and the pea pods that my friend told me about. I really do not like to plant garden but I do love it when it starts to grow and I do not mind pulling weeds. The best part for me besides eating what I have grown is to share the bounty with my neighbors. I like to package up a variety of produce to give away. It is always appreciated and for me it makes gardening more enjoyable.

I have been taking photos of my plants in different stages of growth around the yard. They are so far ahead at this time from others years. I just may be able this year to enjoy my roses and peonys before the rose chafers hatch out. That would make me very happy. Everything looks so good and is nice and green. Some of the baby birds are hatching out  of their eggs. I watched four little baby blackbirds with their ma-ma today.  They were so noisy and so cute. I love this time of year. Having the sunlight on my face as I work outside is so therapeutic for me and is just what the doctor ordered. Hope you all have a bright and sunny weekend doing something you love. Happy Memorial Day to all.

The perennial bed in the front yard.

My beautiful Mother's Day rose bushes from Scott.
He bought 3 of them for me when he was stationed in Hawaii about 10 years ago.

Ferns on the north side of the house.

The pond out back. ( I was watching a great blue heron)

Hosta garden on south side of the house.

Another pic of the front yard flower bed.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wonderful Visit

We arrived home a day later then expected as I locked our ignition keys in the trunk of the car right before we were to come home. The minute I slammed down the trunk I knew what I had done. It was a Sunday so no one could come out to try to open the car. We had to wait until Monday morning. Aside from that we had a wonderful visit. I don't have any photos to post yet (except for the ones I took of James at his house). The wedding and graduation photos aren't ready to go yet but when I receive them I will post them.
I have been working on things for the store Wisconsin Local Handmade. The opening date is May 28th. We hope to share space with at least 50 vendors this season. (last year we had 35.) I look forward to visiting with the people I met last season. There is a lot of variety in what the vendors offer. There will also be a Farmer's Market on Friday nights. I love fresh produce so I look forward to buying and using it in my daily menus.
Have any of you planted your gardens yet? We haven't but hope to this week.  We should be safe to plant now without having any more frost days...well I hope so anyway.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Pincushions ready to go to the store.

James practicing his swing.

More practice.

Perfect' follow through' swing.

Showing us what he has learned on his guitar.
(Everything this kid accomplishes makes me want to stand up and cheer!)

James playing a song for us and then singing too. 
(he has a good voice)
Posing with his new Peavey amplifier and electric guitar that was given to him as a gift.
(both the guitar and amp used to belong to my cousin Rick who was a steel guitarist.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Still Creating

We are leaving tomorrow to go to a wedding for my cousin Jill. She has been a widow for the last 3 years and during that time she found a wonderful guy to spend the rest of her life with. We are all happy for her and her fiance Mike...also for her children and grand-daughter. After the wedding we are driving to the next state over ( it is only a 1 1/2 hour drive from where we live) to visit our daughter and son-in-law. Saturday our niece will have a graduation party not far from my daughter's home. All of our family will be there except our oldest son as he has to work. I love it when we get together with family and have fellowship with one another. I even get to see my 2 grand-daughters for the second time this month...woo hoo! Saturday evening we will visit with our youngest son and his wife. He has been getting his garden in tip-top shape for us to take the 'grand tour' when we go. He also has been learning how to play guitar since last November and he wants to play a song for us. I look forward to hearing it. I feel like I need to get 'out of Dodge' for the weekend and enjoy other scenery. (we say we are getting out of Dodge whenever we travel...I don't know why we do, we just do and no we don't live in a city named Dodge.)  It has been so cold and rainy here and I haven't been outdoors too much except to walk and get the mail down at the post office between showers, so I am more than ready to travel and see if maybe I can find the sun as it has definitely not been abiding around here. :)

I am posting a photo of a sewing journal that I made for my niece Amanda as part of her graduation gift. She loves to sew and has recently been creating many nice sewing projects including 2 quilts and one beautiful skirt. I thought 'she needs a sewing journal to put all of her drawings, photos and sewing lists in'. I made it out of a black covered, not so pretty composition journal. I love to make these and have made many in the past for gifts. Some of the ones I have made are thankful journals, everyday life journals, baby milestones, etc.  They are fairly easy to make but the key is putting in a new very sharp exacto blade in the knife. The best part for me is choosing the embellishments. I made her a teacup pin cushion to go with it and will maybe buy some fat quarters to finish out the sewing theme.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I look forward to hearing about the projects you are working on.

Front cover of sewing journal.
(by the way , you can click on any photo and bring them up in a new window for a closer look.)

Inside cover and the back inside cover is decorated the same.

Back cover of journal.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Paper Craft Projects

I have been working on some new cards for upcoming celebrations. One being a wedding card for a family member who is getting married on Friday evening. We also have a graduation for my niece Amanda on Saturday. She graduates from sign language college and we are going to her party. I am very proud of all her accomplishments and some day I will blog about the wonderful things she has done, because of her love and obedience to the Lord. (she has been a missionary and shown His love to children and adults  in Africa and Haiti.)

Here are some of the cards and other projects I have been working on this week.

Post-it Note Covers

Outside of birthday card.

Inside of card.

Card design that I seen on Splitcoast gallery. (I think.)

Another birthday card.

Thinking of You card.

 Wedding card for cousin.

Inside of wedding card.

Hope you all are having a good week and accomplishing much. Maybe this weekend we will finally get some beautiful warm sun.  We can only hope.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mom's Day

I had a wonderful Mother's Day this year. My younger sister invited me and our mother over for lunch. I made a mocha chocolate bundt cake and brought crackers and cheese. We visited and opened the presents we got each other. They  loved the handmade soap I gave them from my good friend's website business, Mom gave me wildflower seeds for my flower garden and lots of very cute ornaments for the yard. I really like to have the yard looking nice in the summer especially when I invite people over for a little garden party. From my sister I got yummy dark chocolate raspberry squares that are my favorite and a wonderful stainless steel water jug. I have to have a bottle of water where ever I go so this works great to take along. I love getting together with family and the day spent with them was a perfect Mother's Day. I hope all of you mom's had a wonderful day spent with those you love the most.

Love you mom, thanks for all you do for everyone.
(my mother and I)

The recipe for Mocha Chip Bundt Cake I have made many times for different occasions. Everyone loves it and I have given out the recipe several times. It is easy, moist and has a great flavor. I will share it with you and when you need a quick cake for a special occasion this is the recipe that will bring raves.

Mocha Chip Bundt Cake
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup hot water
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1 package (3.9 ounces instant chocolate pudding mix
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegtable oil
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup whipping cream
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, dissolve coffee granules in hot water. Beat in the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil and eggs. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. In a saucepan, heat cream to simmering. Remove from the heat; whisk in chocolate chips until smooth. Drizzle over the cake. I add toasted pecans pieces on top of the drizzled chocolate. Yield: 12-16 servings. Enjoy!!
This recipe came from the Taste of Home 2001 Annual Recipes book.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Adventures in Life

Well, this morning I had to make a trip to the next town to get my neck put back into alignment and visit my friendly chiropractor. I am been going to this office now for 40 years. (I first went when I was 18 years old...why does that sound so long ago?) My 'now' chiropractor was not there back then but his father-in-law was. He was a wonderful guy that was like a father figure (as my own father lived in another state). You could talk to him about any thing and he loved the Lord and did not mind discussing scripture. After he left the practice, I would occasionally see him in town he would always greet me and give me a hug. Sadly a few years back he passed away from pancreatic cancer. I still miss his kindness  after all this time. His son-in-law (the 'now' chiropractor) is very comical and can always tell a good story about his children, grand-children, or talk about his farm with horses and other livestock. He has trained his 4 year old grand-son to help him feed the horses in the morning (when he comes for a visit) and the little guy is the first up in the morning to say 'Let's go and grandpa, I wish I lived on top of that hill over there then I could come every morning to help you.' (little guy lives in another state). Doc said, "He got my heart with that one". Oh how we all love our grand-children...they are a promise of good things to come. They hold the keys to our heart and spending time with them is always like going on a wonderful vacation. You never know what fun awaits you and what fantasy location they will take you to next. You could be going on a snakes adventure (like I have many times) or end up in Cinderella's garden (I have picked flowers there). I remember one time meeting my grand-daughters at Teddy Bear Park in Stillwater. My grand-daughter Emma, got out of the car and was so glad to see me. She said, "Grandma, we have to pay attention to everything around us because  you never know when you might find an adventure."  Sweetie Girl you are so right and it is too bad that we quit paying attention as we walk though life. We get all caught up in the world with all of its problems and stress. God has given us so many blessings to be thankful for and we can live an exciting life in Him with the Holy Spirit as our guide. He is always there for us...loving us and leading us on the path to real life. Time spent walking in His foot steps is never boring and every day is brand new. I repeat Emma's attention to everything around you because you never know when you might find an adventure.

Emma and I taken two years ago at Teddy Bear Park.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Grandparents Day

We went to visit our son and his family last week because our grand-daughter Emma had grandparents day at her school. We were able  to go early and have lunch with her  and then at 2:00 in the afternoon the 20th Annual Grandparents Program started. There was lots of singing and my favorite songs were Day-O (with instruments) and Danny Boy. The kids did an awesome job and they were all so excited to perform for each of their grandparents. Prizes were given out throughout the program for criteria like who has been married the longest, came the farthest, has the most grand-children, and who is the oldest male and female? The longest married was 63 years (wow!), came the farthest was Arizona and Canada, had the most grandchildren attending the school was 23 (yes you read that right) and the oldest was 83 and 86. Hearing that made Mike and I feel like youngsters. After the program we went to visit in Emma's room and we looked at her portfolio that included all of the special things she has done throughout the year. She also gave us a very lovely decorated  letter that she had written in appreciation to her grandpa and I (it brought tears to his eyes.) She told me later that her teacher had warned the kids that some grandparents might cry after they read their letters. It was very touching and both of our letters will be framed and hung in our bedroom. Last but not least we went to the lunch room for coffee and cookies.We sat and visited with Emma and so enjoyed her chatter. What a blessing grand-children are as they love you so freely. At the end of the day we signed Emma out and walked her home. Along the way we chatted and stopped to smell the beautiful blooming lilacs. It was a perfect day!

On Saturday morning we took Emma and Chloe to a play called 'Nick Tickle Fairy Tale Detective'. It was so funny and the actors did a great job. We all enjoyed it while laughing and eating popcorn and candy.
Our visit was wonderful as the weather was nice and we had so much fun with the girls. We look forward to our next visit with lots of hugs and kisses.

Taken in Emma's classroom.

Emma at her desk waiting to give us our grand-parent letters of appreciation.
Emma and grandpa enjoying cookies together.

Emma and I enjoying each others company.

Emma's 'fine art' (the two above her head.) The one on the left is mine. Woo Hoo!!
 My appreciation letter.

Stopping to smell the lilacs.

Homeward bound after a wonderful afternoon.